United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL
SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS
J. McKINNEY, JUDGE
reasons explained in this Entry, the defendant's motion
for partial summary judgment [dkt. 58] is denied.
David Patterson is a federal inmate currently incarcerated at
the Devens Federal Medical Center, but at all times relevant
to this action was in custody at the United States
Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana (“USP-TH”).
Mr. Patterson brings five claims against the United States
pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (the
“FTCA”) for injuries he suffered from multiple
suicide attempts that occurred at USP-TH in late 2012.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b) and 28 U.S.C. §
2671, et seq. In his first four claims, Mr.
Patterson contends that staff at USP-TH were negligent by
failing to adequately treat his underlying conditions and by
failing to protect him from suicide attempts. His fifth claim
regards an alleged instance of excessive force by USP-TH
United States moves for summary judgment only as to the first
four of Mr. Patterson's claims. Moreover, the United
States does not move for summary judgment on the entirety of
these claims, but only insofar as they are predicated on
negligent psychiatric treatment.
judgment is appropriate when the movant shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A “material fact” is one that
“might affect the outcome of the suit.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). To survive a motion for summary judgment, the
non-moving party must set forth specific, admissible evidence
showing that there is a material issue for trial. Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The Court
views the record in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party and draws all reasonable inferences in that
party's favor. Darst v. Interstate Brands Corp.,
512 F.3d 903, 907 (7th Cir. 2008). It cannot weigh evidence
or make credibility determinations on summary judgment
because those tasks are left to the fact-finder.
O'Leary v. Accretive Health, Inc., 657 F.3d 625,
630 (7th Cir. 2011).
dispute about a material fact is genuine only “if the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson,
477 U.S. at 248. If no reasonable jury could find for the
non-moving party, then there is no “genuine”
dispute. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007).
following facts are undisputed or, if disputed, taken in the
light most favorable to Mr. Patterson for purposes of this
motion. The facts are organized according to the four claims
at issue in the United States' motion and the events
preceding each of those claims.
Patterson was incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary
in Allenwood, Pennsylvania (“USP Allenwood”)
before he was transferred to USP-TH. While at USP Allenwood,
Mr. Patterson had expressed suicidal thoughts and had
intermittently been placed on suicide watch. He also engaged
in various forms of self-harm and had made a noose on
multiple occasions. Mr. Patterson was transferred from USP
Allenwood to USP-TH in September 2012.
1 - Attempted Hanging on October 22, 2012
October 15, 2012, Mr. Patterson complained to Officer
Weyrauch that he was experiencing suicidal thoughts and
showed Officer Weyrauch a noose he had made. He was left
alone for thirty minutes and was attempting to hang himself
when USP-TH staff approached his cell. Mr. Patterson agreed
to hand over the noose, but he felt that his suicidal
thoughts were not taken seriously. Mr. Patterson demanded a
restart of the ...